Ahead of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) slated for December 20, it is commendation galore for the cast and crew of Badamasi: Portrait of a General, as the jury of the prestigious film event announced nominations for the film on two categories: ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ and ‘Best Visual Effects’.
In a statement by the jury made up of renowned global film experts, Badamasi, got the ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ nomination with Enyinna Nwigwe, for his portrayal of President Ibrahim Babangida in the film.
The movie shot by award-winning filmmaker, Obi Emelonye, is a biopic on the former military President of Nigeria, who has remained one of the most debated personalities in Nigeria’s socio-political history since Independence. With a stellar cast led by Enyinna Nwigwe, reprising the eponymous role, the film also boasts of Nollywood greats like: Yakubu Mohammed, Julius Agwu, Charles Inojie, Kalu Ikeagwu, Okey Bakassi and Ali Nuhu. The intense military dramatic action is set mainly in 1980s/1990s Nigeria and brings to the fore some of the most remarkable events that have shaped Nigeria’s political and historical landscape, as seen through the eyes of some principal characters who overtly participated in these epochal happenings.
A testimony to Emelonye’s creative depth, who has been described by the international media as ‘a filmmaker telling quintessential African stories with a universal soul’, the movie, has become the most-anticipated film in Nollywood, following issues dogging its release in cinemas, which the director captured thus: “I knew when I took on the character of General Babangida, who is very controversial and well-loved-and-well-hated for a film, that it would open a Pandora box of political, ethnic and historical sentiments. I underestimated the extent to which the problem would exist. So I have come to find out that you could be very objective in telling a story and still not please the world; it becomes more complex, when those people you did not please are in positions of influence because you will struggle to get your voice heard. We had planned a distribution in the cinemas last year, but because of the grumblings from the dark corners of the country, the team and I decided to withdraw the film from that kind of release for a less confrontational one, which the streaming services offer. While some of them are interested in the film, they are seeking assurances that their involvement will not get them into the bad books of anybody. We are trying to provide such assurances and as soon as that is done, Badamasi, will be released. The truth of the matter is that nothing can be hidden under the sun. Whatever is stopping the release of the film, will not be here forever. I implore my supporters to be patient and assure them that when it is finally released, it will be a historical and political event that will shake the system.”
Meanwhile, Emelonye, who recently got inducted into the prestigious Directors UK in London, has completed work on a new film, Black Mail, starring O.C Ukeje, alongside foreign actors from Russia, China and the West Indies.